Bolognese must be one of Italy’s most famous pasta dishes and is best served as they do there with pappardelle (never spaghetti), as it has lots of surface area for the delicious sauce to coat. The key to this dish is long, slow cooking – and it is even better when prepared the day before.
2 tablespoons olive oil
120 grams pancetta or streaky bacon, chopped finely
1 onion, peeled and chopped finely
1 stick celery, chopped finely
1 carrot, chopped finely
⅛ – ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, crushed
500 grams beef mince
300 grams pork mince
½ cup milk
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¾ cup red wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup beef stock
2 tins cherry tomatoes in juice
two quantities of pasta dough, cut into pappardelle
½ cup finely chopped parsley
½ cup grated Parmesan
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the pancetta and cook over a medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the onion, celery, carrot and chilli flakes. Season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 15 minutes, stirring.
Add the garlic and both minces. Use a fork to break the meat down as much as possible to eliminate any big lumps. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the meat is no longer pink.
Add the milk and nutmeg and cook for 5 minutes, then stir through the red wine, tomato paste, beef stock and tomatoes. Cook uncovered over a low heat for 3 hours. It will only need to be stirred every half hour.
To serve: Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente. Pile onto plates and top with the Bolognese sauce. Scatter over the Parmesan and chopped parsley.